Kitchen Cabinets

Old 10-08-05, 04:09 PM
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Kitchen Cabinets

I am having my kitchen done, and a friend of mine recommended Homecrest cabinets. Has anybody had any experience with these cabinets. Are they a quality cabinet. I went onto their website but they will tell you anything there. Is there a comparison to any other cabinets (Decora, Schoch)?
Old 10-08-05, 04:50 PM
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The question you have can either be answered by "yeah, they're ok" to "I wouldn't buy them if you paid me". However, since you haven't gotten any replies, I think the below should help. As usual, the finals questions is what do YOU like and HOW MUCH do you want to pay for them?

When we are talking standard – store bought cabinets, they come in standard dimensions. This applies to both framed and frameless-style cabinets.

Framed cabinets mean that they provide great deal of structural support to the cabinet. Door hinges mount to the frame and doors and drawer fronts typically overlay the frame.

Frameless (European-style) cabinets are basically open boxes usually built from 5/8"-thick melamine-covered particleboard. As the name implies, they lack a face frame, the door hinges mount directly to the cabinet sides to give wide-open access to the interior space. Because they lack the face frame, the boxes get their structural strength from the thicker material used in the sides, back, and bottom, which typically are joined with glued dowels.

In either case, they can handle the weight of the heaviest countertops, such as Granite!

Quality – What determines it?

Surprisingly, it is hard to tell quality cabinetry from economy versions, since many of the features are really hidden from view. It’s like buying a car, if it looks good, runs great, what do we care about what is under the hood?!

Some economy cabinets have 3/8"-thick vinyl-coated particleboard for the cabinet sides and bottom, and 1/8"-thick fiberboard for the back. Most often these are cases held together with staples at all butt joints.

On the high end, you may find 3/4"-thick veneered MDF sides. The case in fact will be glued with tongue-and-groove joints. You’ll also find more so than not, wood corner braces that are glued into place whereas the economy ones may have plastic corner braces stapled.

While both cabinet units could have solid wood face frames, high end cabinets may two dowels in each joint. The cabinet doors on the lower end may only have stub tenon-and-mortise joints that are glued and stapled.

The drawers on the high-end cabinet had 1/2"-thick solid wood sides, fronts, and backs (although you could even upgrade to 3/4"). These may have dowel joints and even plywood bottoms. They may have heavy-duty drawer glides that provide extremely smooth operation and feel solid. Heavy duty glides are also crucial on cabinet pull-out shelves as these have less chance of breaking in the future.

On the economy drawers, they are usually stapled together from 1/2"-thick vinyl-coated particleboard. Most times the drawer glides will be loose and wobble when pulled out. Basically like closing the car door, good one sound solid and cheap ones rattle!

Doors are one great difference between good and bad. There are similar differences in material and how they were built. The high end could be of solid wood for frame-and-panel doors, while the economy model came with a veneered panel. Higher cost units have the adjustable, concealed hinges that let you precisely align the doors. While economy door hinges can also be self-closing, they are not adjustable. .

Warranties – regardless of how long, this is important to the quality – like a 5 to 7 year warranty on materials and workmanship and a lifetime warranty on hinges and drawer glides. Low end cabinets may be for only one-year and it is a limited warranty. Higher the costs usually better the product but it is wise to shop around and review what you like and what you find out in comparison shopping.

Certified Seal

You can find one indicator of quality just by looking for the blue and white certification seal of the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association (KCMA). To display the seal, manufacturers must meet a series of minimum requirements for materials, and the construction must pass a number of rigorous structural and durability tests. This seal is a sure sign of quality assurance.

For example, drawers are loaded at 15 lbs. per sq. ft. and must survive 25,000 open-and-close cycles with no failure of the drawer box assembly or glides. Even a cabinet's finish has to pass muster or mustard as the case may be. To test stain resistance, finishes are subjected to a number of household substances, including alcohol, vinegar, coffee, fruit juice, ketchup, and mustard. After cleaning, the finish must show no appreciable discoloration, stain, or whitening.

Hope this helps!
Old 10-12-05, 11:52 PM
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Look at Ikea

If you have an Ikea in your area, look at their kitchen cabinets. I'm finishing up my second Ikea kitchen (separate homes) and find them to be fabulous. European style. Different choices, with different levels of quality (and price) all available in their kitchens.

Good luck.

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